Saturday, August 7, 2004

Oh, the blood I could shed!

As a blogger, I need certain reflexes. I need to see a wisecrack behind every headline. I need to be able to find that extra quirk in an already quirky story. I need to be able to spring from story to story like Spiderman through crowded city streets. I need to be able to form a web, catch the prey and suck them dry.

Or so I'm tempted to believe.

At some deeper level I know I don't need any of these reflexes. I do it to myself. But I can't always do it. Sometimes I simply do not have the springy wit and claw-fingered cynicism to skewer personage after personage just to make press.

Take this article about Madonna, for example:

Madonna's religious investment (The Age - London - August 6, 2004 - 11:46AM - KRT)

Madonna is spending $US21.6 million ($A30.81 million) to set up a Kabbalah school in New York, reports Sky News. The school, to be named the Kabbalist Grammar School For Children - The K School for short - will teach primary-age youngsters about the ancient Jewish mysticism.

A source close to the singer told The Sun: ... "Education means a lot to her and she was keen to make the most of her money by leaving a lasting mark as well as helping kids. She has been really dedicated to putting money away to pay for the building and she's delighted to finally own it.

According to The Sun, parents who want their five-year-olds to attend the K School will have to face several hurdles. They must be Kabbalists before enrolling their child.

Make no mistake, I'm not a Kabbalist. Do I think this school will provide a solid, comprehensive education? I don't know whether it will, but I am skeptical. I'm not even that big a fan of Madonna. In fact, I'm often offended by her celebrity-level turpitude.

But do I really have the energy, the puerile gall, to mock her for moving past much of that and trying to educate young children? Do I have the strength to "hate on" people, just because they aren't stained-glass saints? Even the saints were not without foibles and flaws. In fact, that's precisely the lesson saints teach us: it is by God's grace, not by human effort and flawlessness, that we enter the Kingdom in heavenly glory.

Without question, Madonna could have done a lot better for herself, ethically speaking, in her younger days. But she could also be doing a lot worse now as she gets older. It says a lot more about me, about my stony, arrogant heart, than it says anything about Madonna that my first reflex is to tear her down -- scratch at her face, stare at her past, sneer at her silly Kabbalistic dabbling.

Like I said, I have the reflexes of a blogger. God help me.

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